Dog Closes Eyes When Petted (What It Means)

Dog Closes Eyes When Petted

Like humans, dogs close their eyes when petted because they enjoy it. Animals love to be petted and seem to enjoy it with people they trust very much.

Petting releases a hormone called endorphins which makes your dog feel good and eases stress and tension. When a dog closes its eyes, it means it can’t see, and this generally insinuates that they don’t see you as a threat and trust you completely.

If you own a dog, you should understand its body language and learn how to please them. Dogs express their feelings in many ways, like being sad, happy, angry, nervous, or even afraid. You can tell by these expressions what they think or how they feel about those around them.

Dogs seem to enjoy petting so much that they can fall asleep anytime. Let’s find out more reasons for this behavior and what their body language is trying to tell us.

READ ALSO: My Dog Smells Like Dirty Socks

Why Do Dogs Close Their Eyes When Petted

Understanding a dog’s body language is broad and sophisticated because of its nonverbal communication. A dog cannot verbally communicate with its owner and expresses itself when sad or happy.

Understanding and interpreting a dog’s body language is quite easy since you must look into every part of their behavior. It is crucial to observe every part of your dog’s body language to determine how they are feeling.

When you begin to pet your dog by rubbing their head, you will notice a change in their eyelids as though they want to sleep. And at that point, you might have different thoughts running through your mind, like: Does he actually enjoy it, or is he just accommodating me?

The reason your dog closes their eyes while petting is obviously that they enjoy it. Have you seen any dog who doesn’t enjoy being petted? Although it depends on how you pet them. You need to take cognizance of certain things when it comes to petting your dog, especially one that isn’t familiar to you yet.

Their body language and reactions will determine if they trust you, and this varies with context. If they are friendly, you will notice their approach towards you with their ears held back and tail raised at a medium height.

The outcome you get from petting your pup will be much different when you pet someone else’s pup. Does your dog close their eyes while being petted and open them immediately when they notice you stopped?

Think about the humans who would close their eyes to relax and listen to their favorite songs while lying by the beach side, then you will understand this behavior of your pup.

Sometimes you will notice that your dog wants you to pet them; hence they display certain body language like lying under your hand, eyes becoming droopy, and completely flopping their body down.

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How Should I Pet My Dog?

Just like humans, you will understand how your dog feels by looking at his eyes. If you want your dog to feel relaxed and at ease, then, you should know how to pet them.

Give your pup a good petting on the chest, sides of the thighs, under the chin, and the front of the neck. Dogs don’t usually like being petted on the top of their head. You should consider giving them gentle strokes from the sides. 

Since dogs don’t always like petting their muzzle, legs, tail, and ears, giving them a gentle massage or even scratches can make them feel relaxed and calm. If your dog responds positively to your petting, then, that means you are doing it right.

But if they duck and draw their body away from you, you are not getting it right. Dogs might also show signs of discomfort, like licking their lips or even displaying the white part of their eyes.

Petting is one of the therapeutic ways of calming your dog and making them feel less stressed

What If My Dog Doesn’t Want to Be Petted

Your dog’s refusal to be petted might be accompanied by any of these signs like ducking their head, scratching their body, licking their lips, lifting their leg, and showing the white eyes.

Your dog might show other signs depending on their personality. If your dog refuses to be petted or shows signs of refusal, try to put them in the mood.

If your pup doesn’t like petting, then teach them to enjoy it. First, try to understand your dog’s personality and observe its body language to figure out the method you can use to pet your dog.


Dogs closing their eyes, when petted, is a natural and positive response. Closing their eyes shows trust and relaxation, indicating that the dog is comfortable and enjoys the affection.

This behavior is a sign of a strong bond between a dog and its owner, and it’s important for us to understand and appreciate this nonverbal communication that our furry friends display.

So next time you pet your dog and they close their eyes, know they are feeling loved and safe in your hands.

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